Investor body and Norway lean on Xstrata

SHAREHOLDER body Pirc yesterday came out against Xstrata’s merger with commodities giant Glencore, adding to pressure exerted by Norway as it upped its stake in the mining group.

Pirc said investors should vote down the deal, due to concerns over transparency and governance. Xstrata shareholders will vote on the merger on 7 September.

Meanwhile the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund yesterday spent $90m (£56.8m) on Xstrata shares, which raised its holding to 3.01 per cent.

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the sovereign wealth fund, is the fourth-largest shareholder in Xstrata.

Since the middle of June, NBIM’s holding has risen from 1.71 per cent.

Matthew Nelson at Spreadex said yesterday it looked “increasingly likely” that the merger won’t happen. Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg said last week that the mega-merger was “not a must-do deal”.

NBIM declined to comment.